King’s Lynn’s quay attraction set to re-open

At the official re-opening of the Green Quay in King's Lynn are (from left) Adam Hannay, Andrew Horn

At the official re-opening of the Green Quay in King's Lynn are (from left) Adam Hannay, Andrew Hornigold, Gavin McQuire, Dr Paul Richards, Cllr Michael Pitcher and Malcolm Catlin. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A restored warehouse which was the focal point of a multi-million waterfront restoration is set to reopen with a new business plan, seven months after it closed with the loss of six jobs.

The Green Quay, on King's Lynn's waterfront, will be reopening under its original name of Marriott's Warehouse, on April 12.

Instead of operating the restaurant and café on the ground floor, refreshments will be provided by a tenant.

'We've found a partner who'll run the restaurant and café and give us the benefit of rent,' said Lynn historian and former West Norfolk mayor Dr Paul Richards, chairman of trustees since the Grade II listed building originally opened as part of the North Sea Haven Millennium project 13 years ago.

'We can't run the place without any money; we ran out of money last September.'

Dr Richards added with the restored Hanse House set to reopen next door and new mooring pontoons creating berths for visiting craft along the river, optimism was high for the historic waterfront.

'We do believe people in King's Lynn want this building open and doing interesting things for the public benefit,' said Dr Richards.

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'Different times, different circumstances, we're trying to relaunch it.

'We're going to have displays about the warehouses of King's Lynn, the exceptional historic building environment of King's Lynn, with the emphasis on the riverside.'

Dr Richards said there would be exhibitions on the two upper floors, while the first floor would also be available for community groups to hire out for meetings and exhibitions.

Marriott's Warehouse was built between the 14th and 16th centuries, when Lynn was a booming Hanseatic trading port.

The building is believed to have originally stood on a small island in what was the river estuary, before the river frontage moved gradually north and the Ouse was channelled along its current course. It remained open until the 1970s.

The building was transformed into the Green Quay as part of the £4.5m North Sea Haven project to regenerate the town's waterfront, which included work on Common Staithe Quay, around the Purfleet, a new layout to the South Quay and a new boardwalk on the West Lynn side, from where walkers could survey Lynn's medieval quarter.

The Green Quay opened in 2000, but it began encountering financial difficulties in 2010 after West Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council withdrew their grant funding –despite having 90,000 visitors a year through the doors.